Saturday, July 11, 2009

Entry #41

Pinot Noir
by Eric Beetner


The crystal sent shards of candlelight dancing around the room. The wine itself was a burgundy enticement to sex later in the evening. Hal planned it all as the first step toward reconnection with Maura. He may be just a dumb husband but even he knew things hadn’t been right in some time. Spurred on by a magazine article he normally would never read, he cribbed advice on piecing it back together.

Maura arrived late. Her shoulders dropped when she turned into the dining room and saw the romantic arrangement.

“Hal, you shouldn’t have.”

“You deserve it.” He brought her the glass and swirled it to release the aroma.

“We need to talk.”

Words he feared. Words he knew were coming.

“Should I sit?”

“If you like.”

He folded into the chair like the air had been let out of him. He let the wine glass slap the table and a drop spilled over the side onto the tablecloth like a tear. Would she leave and make him clean up or would he be the one to go, leaving her with a blotch of red like the last stain from a broken heart?

Hal let his eyes fall to the carpet. “So this is it?”

“Yeah. This is it.” The words were a relief to say but burned her throat just the same. “But it gets worse.”

Hal raised his eyes as her lover entered the room. A man he didn’t know behind a shape he recognized. His own gun.


[For more on Eric’s writing visit ericbeetner.blogspot.com His debut novel, co-written with JB Kohl, is titled One Too Many Blows To The Head and is due out this fall from Second Wind publishing.]

22 comments:

Laurel said...

Oh. Sad.

Good character development and very believable. Hal should have ditched her years ago. She's monstrous.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Poor Hal! It's bad enough his wife turned on him but to face the barrel of his own gun (oh, and the wife's lover too) ... it's just too much.

laughingwolf said...

noir indeed...

wrath999 said...

Very well done

alex

Aniket said...

Can we not do anything to save Hal.

Write you mails or start a facebook campaign? Something? Anything?:P

Chris Eldin said...

I'm with Aniket. Let's save Hal!

Dark, and very interesting! Liked this one a lot!
:-)

Carrie said...

Neat ending. Loved this phrase.

"The wine itself was a burgundy enticement to sex"

Enjoyed.

Eric Beetner said...

Thanks everyone. I'll promise that whatever the next contest I will continue the saga of Hal:)
I'm really enjoying reading all the different interpretations of the image.
Eric

Adisha said...

Such a sad end to a man who deserved better ... Sigh !!!

Beautifully written ...

Catvibe said...

Now Hal needs to show his superpower strength and kick the gun right out of the guy's hand, kick the guy in the face, grab the gun, and shoot them both in the head. But seriously, great development, I enjoyed it.

The Preacherman said...

Catvibe beat me to it. Kick him in the balls take the gun and blow 'em both away.

Simples

oh...soz...that's the meerkat thing....

Nice writing old bean

BernardL said...

I drew out the ending in a fashion with Catvibe and Preacherman. Your story stirred me up. :)

pjd said...

Good thing he never kept it loaded. Won't they be surprised!

Cormac Brown said...

Dang, Hal, wine is for closers. Nasty noir, Eric.

B. Nagel said...

Hooray for Freud! His place, his wife, his gun (his penis) - all co-opted by this shadowed stranger. Maybe she's replaced him with someone whose gun is loaded.

Nice piece. If I may: if you lose the similes in the "folded into the chair" paragraph, you'll have much stronger images. But it's strong as is.

Amanda F. said...

Poor guy. I felt bad about the fact that he thought of himself as the "dumb husband". Perhaps he was just unwise? Unperceptive? Either way... poor guy.

Angela said...

Loved it! Good character development and great twist at the end! Very memorable piece.

JaneyV said...

Poor poor hapless Hal!

Paul Brazill said...

Full bodied, Eric.

Jade L Blackwater said...

Quick turnaround - I like how you've written his final, reaching attempt to be truly his last.

jason evans said...

Now that's adding insult to injury. And his own gun too. Harsh. Well told. Strong dialogue.

Welcome to The Forties Club!!

Jaye Wells said...

Let this be a lesson to all husbands. Wine her and dine her before it's too late! Great job on this.